A 1936 Postcard from Munich to Selsenhorst on the Blue Ridge
By Les Querry
April 30, 2013
Good friendships have marked the Blue Ridge Mountain community of unique historic homes since before the turn of the last century. Sometimes these relationships leave traces.
On the right is a picture post card sent to Bluemont from Munich, Germany in 1936 from the Huntington's of "Journeys End" to the Droops of "Selsenhorst."
The message is simple:
Aug 1, 1936
Our kindest regards to you and Mrs. Droop. We hope the summer has not been too hot on the mountain.
W. Chapin Huntington
Mrs. Huntington was Frances Carpenter, daughter of Frank Carpenter, who built Joannaberg in 1896. Mrs. Droop was Elfrieda Sellhausen, the sister of Ernst Sellhausen, who built Seltsenhorst in 1903 (on what is now Seltenhorst Lane).
In 1928, Carpenter Huntington and her husband, William Chapin Huntington, a prominent journalist, bought 80 acres of property fron Jeannette Scoville Aspinwall, her Georgetown neighbor in Washington, on which they built Journey's End.
Mr. Droop is addressed on the card as "Kommerzeinrat" which is a tongue-in-cheek title of councillor of commerce.
We should also mention the engaging remininiscence of a 1919 summer stay at Joannasberg, near Selsenhorst.
In that summer a young woman named Josephine Lehman -- who had come from Michigan to Washington D.C.to work as a "government girl" during World War I, visited Bluemont as the assistant of author Frank Carpenter and his wife Joanna. She stayed in the gracious stone house on the top of the Blue Ridge christened "Joannasberg" - from here, visitors could see across into four states : Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Two chapters in a book by Josephine Lehman's daughter, Margaret Thomas Buchholtz, Josephine: From Washington Working Girl to Fisherman's Wife, A Memoire 1917-1959 captures life in that place and time. --SFF